I really can’t believe I’m writing this post. When I was 16, I was so unfit that I could barely even walk up a standard flight of stairs without being short of breath at the top. The thought of running for longer than even a minute was completely alien to me. Fast forward 9.5 years to 2015 and I’ve just found out that I have gained a place on the Virgin London Marathon 2016. Holy shit.
In those 9.5 years I’ve spent hours in my mum and dad’s converted garage on a cross trainer, completed the P90X & Insanity programmes, shared a tiny council gym with lethargic teenagers in their PE class, pushed the limits with an awesome PT (Hi Will!), completed the very first UK Colour Run (5km) and then progressed to the 10km Race for Life. It’s been quite the journey, let me tell you. And now the bloody London Marathon! I’d say right now, I’m 50% crapping myself, 50% pure determination.
I’m running as part of the Mind team. For those who might not know, Mind is a UK based charity who focus on providing help for those suffering from mental health issues. They do some amazing work, including offering counselling services, supported housing, crisis helplines and they even help those who have had their lives overturned by mental health problems get back into training schemes and employment. Sometimes MH treatment can seem like it isn’t taken very seriously, which is frustrating for those struggling, as MH illnesses left untreated can have a far more damaging impact than so many physical illnesses. This is why it’s so important that charities like Mind exist.
Running the London Marathon for Mind has a very satisfying sense of symmetry for me. In the past, I’ve taken medication for depression. Sometimes even now I struggle with it. But one thing that has never, ever let me down, and I’ve always been able to rely on to give me a massive serotonin (happy chemical in the brain) boost is exercise. I can’t begin to estimate the number of times I’ve felt that sickening emptiness in the pit of my stomach, but forced myself to put on my gym kit and go for a run, and came back from that run feeling like I’ve conquered the world. Raising money for a charity like Mind, doing the very thing that has pulled me out of a hole so many times before – it’s a very humbling thought. Oh god, now I’m crapping myself again!
So I’m going to be blogging (and hopefully vlogging, providing my camera stops being an ass, but that’s a tale for another time) my training over the next few months. Firstly, I have a feeling I’m going to want to remember this ridiculous journey. Secondly, I’m going to be begging you for your sponsorship over the next 5ish months – the least I can do is keep you in the loop.
The following link takes you to my fundraising page. I understand completely if you don’t want to donate just yet, but please keep me in mind over the coming months. I’ve got a lot of hard work ahead, and your sponsorship would really mean the world to me.